Thursday, October 9, 2014

Five Areas to Grow in before & after marriage

Hey friend! I'm so excited to be guest posting on one of my most favorite blogs around! Jenni is such a sweet friend but you already knew that, didn't you? :) I'm Katie & I blog over at Hot Tea and the Empty Seat. I have been married to my best friend for just over a year now. Over this year, my passion for seeing women of all ages flourish with Christ in their singleness and in their marriage has grown immensely. Before getting married, I thought I knew it all. After getting married, I realized that I had no idea how fun, important, beautiful, & hard marriage truly is. I just want to share a few areas that I wish I had known and grown more in that are so vital to a marriage and to our relationship with God.




// Find Your Identity in Christ Alone \\
- Beloved,  you are so much more than a face. You have worth. Stop spending so much time in front of the mirror and spend more time on your knees in prayer. I'm sure you worry about your appearance and how people see you. Many of you question your worth. The more you focus on Christ and glorifying Him, the more you grow in the wisdom of the TRUE YOU. In Christ, you are loved. You are righteous. You are pure. You are beautiful. Don't worry about what other people think of you. The man that God has for you will see that worth from Christ in you. Your Heavenly Father believes you are worth dying for and He has made you His daughter. That is your identity. 

Married ladies... do you believe who you are in Christ? You are loved, beautiful, valuable, & you are a good wife. But most of all, you are a daughter of the King if you have been redeemed by Jesus. Don't let the enemy tell you otherwise.


// Guard Your Heart \\
- Can I be blunt? You don't have to be texting the opposite sex every day. You really don't have to go on dates and have boyfriends.  But if you do, protect your heart with all your might. Your future husband deserves your commitment and your purity. More than that, God has called you to a higher calling and in Him, you are pure. Therefore, do not sale yourself short. Before falling for someone, truly seek the Lord's face. Before dating, spend genuine time in prayer to the creator of love, Jesus. Guard your heart and protect your mind from the world's lies that you have to be in a relationship or "in love" to be happy. Those are lies from the enemy who is trying to destroy your heart. God is the only One who can give you fulfillment & purpose. Even after marriage, it is Christ alone who fills you with joy and gives you peace and contentment. Spend time with your friends and family, people who push you into Christ & fill your heart with true love. 

Married Ladies... How are you guarding your heart from this sinful world? Are you taking action at keeping your heart and mind pure and your body only for your husband? The temptations from the world start small and "not so bad" but do not be fooled. The enemy hates marriage the way God created it & is trying to break it apart. Let's stand strong in our purity to the Lord and our husband.



// Read Less Marriage Books & More of God's Word \\
- While my husband and I were engaged, I thought that if I read every single book on marriage, then I would be an expert. That is so far from the truth. I hope that you can hear my heart in this. Some marriage books are great but too much of them can just add pressure and high expectations that are impossible to meet. Instead of reading tons of books, get coffee with a woman who is already married and can give you real-life opinions, godly wisdom, & sound direction. Even reading blogs written by married women can be great help. They have been to me! Remember that you will never be the perfect wife but your husband will always cherish you in your mess. God gives strength to those who are weak. You don't have to have it all together, sister!

Married Ladies... are you daily in God's Word? Nothing gives direction and wisdom in marriage like God's Holy Word. If we are not getting our spiritual nourishment from God's Word, our marriage will feel that hunger. But if we, as faithful wives, are being filled up with God's truth and His Word, our marriage will reap wonderful benefits. Who doesn't want that?!



// Pray on His Behalf \\
- Instead of constantly praying for a spouse or "better-half", pray on the behalf of your future husband. Someone once asked me, "if you aren't praying for your husband, who is?" You can start praying for your future husband now! It's never too early. Pray that God will strengthen him, protect his mind, and give him wisdom. This will help you to learn ways of faithfulness that are vital in marriage. God has strengthened my husband, myself, and our marriage so much through our prayers to Him. I wish that I would have started that earlier!


Married Ladies... If you aren't praying for your husband, who is? Maybe his mom or his pastor but you can't rely on them. You are his helper. Lift him up daily to the Lord. I can attest to how perfectly God listens to my prayers & strengthens my husband like no other. Ask God to give your husband strength, wisdom, discernment, Christ-like love, and anything else the Holy Spirit leads you to pray. He is faithful and will hear your prayers.


// Cook & Clean More Often \\
- This may seem silly but it's so true! If you aren't cooking and cleaning, start! Especially if you don't particularly like it. It is possible to learn to love it! In marriage, cooking and cleaning are such great ways to serve your husband. It also cultivates growth and responsibility in your heart and mind. And, it's pretty necessary. Before getting married, I lived at home with my parents. Honestly, I didn't have to cook much but I did learn to love cleaning and being tidy at a young age. I'm going to be honest... there are days when we have laundry up to our eyeballs and the dishes are the last thing on my mind. Sometimes, I must deny my selfishness and choose to selflessly serve my husband in this way. It's not easy but it's always worth it. Doing laundry may never bring you pure bliss but it's part of being a wife and homemaker so start early, gal!


Married Ladies.. trust me, I know it's hard. And you don't have to be perfect at it. 60% of the time my house is a mess and that's okay. But we should be in the mindset that God desires us to serve and this is a perfect way to serve our husband and family!


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Whether you are married or single, what a beautiful thing is it to our Lord when He sees His girls being faithful to Him before (and after) marriage! You will never regret doing these things and I bet you will even be happy you did! Learning to love God high above all else, including earthly relationships, is what we are called to do! I pray that these little tips can speak encouragement, truth, & wisdom into your life as you serve God and your husband. Now, don't be a stranger. I hope to hear from you over on my  blog very soon!
"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her..." Ephesians 5:22,25
You are so loved,

Katie

Hot Tea and the Empty Seat



Now it's time to grab some tea & visit my sweet friend Katie!


4 comments :

  1. These were really great and practical. I love that reminder that our identity is in Christ.

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  2. Love a ALL of these! But praying of his behalf is most definitely my favorite - wonderful tips, Katie!!

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  3. I really liked:
    // Read Less Marriage Books & More of God's Word \\ I read so many marriage books before I got married because I thought it would make me a better wife. I won't lie I did really enjoy them. They inspired me. but to this day I feel like they made me feel like I had to be perfect.

    // Pray on His Behalf \\ - this is just simply very smart.

    // Cook & Clean More Often \\ I WISH I would have taken people up on their offers to help me learn to cook. I never did and I struggle with this regularly. I just don't know how to pull something together and planning ahead is overwhelming. I wish I would have gotten more practice before I got married because I love cooking for my man but It's hard.

    Also, I recently just started reading the Bible everyday and I have found it helps me tremendously in all aspects. Great post, Katie!

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  4. What a beautiful post and 5 great ways to grow, both before and after marriage. Katie is such a wonderful girl and I love her blog!

    Neive xx
    theaussieosborns.blogspot.com

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